Child marriage in the UK

Child marriage graphic

According to the most recent statistics from the Forced Marriage Unit over a quarter of young people seeking help in cases of forced marriage are under 18, which can involve cradle betrothals.

Child marriages occur where the bride and/or groom is less than 18 years of age. They should be considered as forced marriages since minors do not have the capacity to give legal consent. There are an estimated 14 million marriages of minor girls every year globally.

Children forced into marriage are particularly vulnerable to abuse. They may be treated as servants by their in-laws, and impregnated before their bodies are mature, leading to difficulties in childbirth, and psychological difficulties in dealing with the responsibilities of motherhood at a young age.

IKWRO regard child marriage as a form of forced marriage, but also recognise the extreme vulnerability of young people forced into marriage.

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